The Cocktail Bar

NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION

VISITING THE EMBASSY:
girls in Pit-london who love Aristasia and would like to visit Aristasian soil may discuss a Visit to the Aristasian Embassy, which is five minutes from an Underground station. Pop us a note if you are interested.
Wonderful News Pettes. There is now an Aristasian monthly magazine in Elektraspace You can see it for yourself just by clicking here!

Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with Forty-Second Street


Dateline: Friday, March 21, 1952

Bangles And Beads

If sequins are dazzling, then bugle beads and bangles are absolutely spectacular, darlings! Yes, it's me again, pettes, Anita, carefully tending the holy flame in the Temple of Trentish glamour. Today we will talk about beaded dresses.

 The first thing a girl needs to know about beaded or bangled dresses is that they are frightfully expensive, up to $500! That is because the beads must be hand-crocheted onto the base fabric - usually chiffon or tulle - light, airy fabrics to make up for the weight of the beads. A single solid bugle-beaded dress takes six to eight weeks for the most skillful beader to complete, working six days a week. Beaded dresses are extravagant, opulent, fantastic, intended for formal feminine display, almost like ritual garments: they are so very heavy that a girl uses up all her energy simply to remain on her feet.

Here is Ginger Rogers, achingly blonde, lithe and slim-hipped - almost girlish - wearing a gleaming and graceful gown of turquoise chiffon studded with thousands of silver-lined bugle beads. Rows of beads packed tightly together form the belt, collar and the three bands near the hem. The buttons on the bodice are large rhinestones. Dancing in this gown is extremely difficult, even for the accomplished (and athletic) Miss Rogers, because of the weight and sway of the beads. The gown weighs thirty-two pounds; for her dance numbers, Miss Rogers removes the outer skirt to reveal a fully beaded, but very short underskirt which allows her the freedom of movement she needs for her numbers.

Next let us consider the soft and maternal Billie Burke, here shown in a stunning brown tulle dinner dress with gold spangles and ruffled, pleated flounces on the skirt. Miss Burke wears an unusual spangle-trimmed half-cape, fastened at the chin with a large bow pinned by an oval diamond brooch. On the table to her right, half concealing Miss Burke's hand in its opulent loft, is draped an extravagant outer cape of Russian sable, which, I am sorry to say, shows poorly in this picture. Miss Burke may appear without her furs, but she never appears without her ruffles, even when she is wearing a suit.

Last in today's cavalcade of Trentish beauties is Jeannette MacDonald, wearing an exquisite beaded silver-and-gold hostess gown by Adrian, with a rich, blunt train that slides across the floor when she walks, like a pool of quicksilver. The gown has a removable capette and narrow shoulder drapes which accentuate its daring backless construction: one can just barely make out the breath-taking back in her reflection in the French door.

 Tomorrow, darlings, we will study lamé.

 ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


Easter Greetings

Happy Easter, Darling Pettes!

 My, my, what gorgeous bonnets we have here, and new frilly, flowery Easter dresses. How we brighten our already-lovely establishment. Do you like my new bonnet, with all of the forest flowers pasted upon it?

 Here is a little Easter poem from New Trent to help your Easter be bright and sunny. It's especially meant for the ones at the littlers' table over in the corner and the blondes, who never do seem to grow up, Dea bless them.

 Meeting the Easter Bunny

 On Easter morn at early dawn
before the cocks were crowing,
I met a bob-tail bunnykin
and asked where she was going,
"'Tis in the house and out the house
a-tipsy, tipsy-toeing,
'Tis round the house and 'bout the house
a-lightly I am going."
"But what is that of every hue
you carry in your basket?"
"'Tis eggs of gold and eggs of blue;
I wonder that you ask it.
'Tis chocolate eggs and bonbon eggs
and eggs of red and gray,
For every child in every house
on bonny Easter Day."
She perked her ears and winked her eye
and twitched her little nose;
She shook her tail - what tail she had -
and stood up on her toes.
"I must be gone before the sun;
the East is growing gray;
'Tis almost time for bells to chime"
So she hippety-hopped away.

 With Easter Love,

 MISS BARBARA


Getting to Know You

Hello there!

 Time for introductions! My name is Miss Terrie, and I am from Idaho, in the United States. I am just becoming acquainted with Wildfire, and have been learning my way around Aristasia for a little over a month now. After two book orders, and lots of learning and sightseeing, Aristasia is fast becoming a favorite place!

 This evening, after stopping by the seminar room at the Feminine Academy, sightseeing in Femmeworld, learning a little more about Aristasia via the Beginner's guide, and stopping to partake of Princess Zanthia's excellent lecture, not to mention perusing some of the shops, etc., I was mentally satiated, not to mention physically exhausted, and thought I'd stop by the Cocktail Bar and relax a bit before retiring for night. Now lets see... would the Cocktail Lounge have Pina Coladas, Peppermint Schnapps, a traditional Rum and Coke...or... perhaps I'll try the "Blonde Bombshell", a drink mentioned in an advertisement I happened to see while sightseeing Femmeworld. Do you have a featured cocktail this evening, and if so what would it be?

 Ah, see my order's ready... my goodness this Blonde Bombshell is a lovely cocktail- perfect to relax with after a busy time touring around, and learning more about Aristasia.

 Oh dear! I just noticed how late it's getting, and soon time to go home to get a good night's rest before work tomorrow.

 Thank-you for the wonderful chat, hospitality, and excellent drink, I had such a good time!

 Bye for now, and hope to see you soon-

 MISS TERRIE


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with You Are my Lucky Star


Dateline: Tuesday, March 18, 1952

Remarkable Blouses From Trent

Greetings, darlings! It is I, Anita, guardian of Trentish styles, (but really just a sweeper in the Temple), here to bring you yet another installment. (I do hope you are not getting bored yet - I have thousands of 8 by 10's in my archives, you know.) So far, except for Miss Ginger Rogers' green sequin blouse, I have concentrated on gowns, dresses, coats and suits in the course of discussing various fabrics. But today I would like to talk about a specific feminine garment - the blouse - and show you three exemplars.

 We Trentish pettes do not always go about in evening gowns, of course, not even in films. Sometimes we go about dressed rather like ordinary mortals, but always with that ineradicable touch of glamour. Convincing, yet stylish daily cinema wear does exist, too: lovely and feminine, but not so sumptuous or flashy as to detract from the film's action when the action, not the girl, is the focus.

Lamé can be used to advantage for daily cinema blouses, giving an impression of serious business, confidence and at least a certain amount of wealth. Here's an example of a rather plain but nonetheless stylish long-sleeved blouse, worn by Patricia Morison, whose only piece of jewelry appears to be her .32 automatic, pointed straight at some unhappy pette's navel. Because attention must be fastened on the girl's face and on the gun, the blouse must be devoid of distracting eye-catching details. So this silver lamé blouse provides the requisite fashion interest in the form of flat ruffles at collar and cuffs and at the slightly puffed shoulders without diverting attention from the main action. (Miss Morison, by the way, has the longest tresses in Hollywood - thirty-nine inches - exceeding those of her rival, Miss Dorothy Lamour, by a full three inches!)

Organdy, though transparent and nominally riskay, can be fashioned into the most demure blouses, like this lovely one worn by Jean Arthur in The Whole Town's Talking. This ethereal top, with its oversized starched white bouffant organdy sleeves, features soft, little-girl ripples at neckline and cuffs and a seemingly infinite number of small, stylish buttons. A contrasting simple black crepe skirt makes this an ideal outfit for late afternoon wear, or, with a fur wrap or cape, for early evening dining, (but not for the theater). Miss Arthur, a girl-next-door type in this role, wears a pretty sculpted strapless brassiere underneath. Consider the fresh-faced innocence of this beautiful star, and don't overlook the flash of her perfectly polished nails, either!

 Now, pettes, I am about to show you the finest studio still in my collection, an image of exalted feminine majesty, of an almost pure feminine Archetype, so don't look, not yet! Read on a bit, and then look. Very few women can get away with this, but Anita Louise, shown here in These Glamour Girls, pulls it off effortlessly because of her matchless face and figure, but also because of her perfect, serene feminine confidence and timeless feminine poise.

Her blouse of ultra-sheer net, with its long flowing sleeves and genteel Arcadian jabot, floats gracefully with her every movement across the screen. It is closed at the throat with a diamond and obsidian pin. Beneath the blouse Miss Anita Louise wears ... wears .... um, it seems she is wearing nothing but Dea's primordial fashion, and so she appears on the screen before millions of fans. But, pettes, there is not the slightest hint of the tawdry in her bare-breastedness: she is dignified, powerful, demure and irreproachably feminine. This is a regal pose, bringing to mind the garb of the neolithic Minoan ladies who ruled in a completely traditional feminine culture six thousand years ago. This shot always makes me cry, pettes: it is the image of an eternal Goddess, not some evanescent creation of the Hollywood movie machine. (Oh, please don't tell anyone I said that - I might lose my job!) Thank Dea for leading us to the science of photography, so that pettes all over the world, in all generations, can feast their eyes and their souls on a sacred image like this!

 ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with When you've Got a Little Springtime in Your Heart


Dateline: Monday, March 17, 1952

Serenade in Blue

Sweet Miss Mina Kumari said only yesterday that she loved the "classically melancholy" songs that best suit her temperament. 'Course, I don't know how Miss Mina feels today, but one of the top songs on the Kadorie hit parade this week is Serenade in Blue, sung by Miss Frances Langford, a movie starlet and singer who knows her way around the flats and sharps of a minor key with heart-piercing perfection.

Here is a photo of Miss Langford during a recent visit to Trent, where she made several films. Note the Oriental motif of her ivory jacket with its contrapuntal frogs and pockets, and natty red neck scarf, by the peerless Trentish designer Adrienne ... But, La! I am pre-empting Miss Anita, so, instead of mooning over Miss Langford and her Trentish hostess outfit, let us moon instead over her heartbreaking Kadorian song:

 When I hear that Serenade in Blue
I'm somewhere in another world alone with you
Sharing all the joys we used to know
Many moons ago.

 Once again your face comes back to me
Just like the theme of some forgotten melody
In the album of my memory
Serenade in Blue.

 It seems like only yesterday
A small cafe, a crowded floor
And as we dance the night away
I hear you say "forever more"
And then the song became a sigh
Forever more became good-bye
But you remain in my heart.

 So tell me darling, is there still a spark
Or only lonely ashes of the flame we knew?
Should I go on whistling in the dark
Serenade in Blue?

 [Very Melancholy Instrumental]

 It seems like only yesterday
A small cafe, a crowded floor
And as we dance the night away
I hear you say "forever more"
And then the song became a sigh
Forever more became good-bye
But you remain in my heart

 So tell me darling, is there still a spark
Or only lonely ashes of the flame we knew?
Should I go on whistling in the dark
Serenade in Blue?

 MEHITABELLE


The Alphabet Lover

Oh Blondies, please join us over here in the corner, for we have to tell you something that might be a matter of life and death. Well, not death, but at least a broken heart, and that is just as bad. I forgot to introduce myself. I am Dolores; I am the spokesblonde for the group. And just like my name implies, I am sad, sad, sad. You will be too if you don't listen and listen well.

 There is an awful, terrible, loathsome brunette about. We shall call her "Brunette X," for she never gives her name. She is traveling around Quirinelle and Infraquirinelle breaking blonde hearts right and left. She has made her way as far as western Kadoria, but we think even Arcadian pettes are not safe from her, so BEWARE! Below is the police report we broken hearted blondes have written up. We are on the way to the station right now to submit it. Policepettes always expect you to bring the reports with you when you wish to file a complaint. Otherwise, what would they put in their file drawers when the time came to file it? We've tried to make it all official, but don't worry if you can't understand the secret codes.

Suspect Description: 5 ft., 10 in., shoulder-length raven-black hair, violet eyes, fair complexion, 36 in., 25 in., 36 in., long eyelashes, ruby lips, a direct gaze, (the rest of the description is smudged, for all of the blonde tears that poured onto it at this point in the proceedings).

 Suspect M.O.: She comes into town, visits all of the local pink lady joints, and chooses the sweetest, most innocent pette she can find. Then she makes her move. Her lines vary, from "You're really the kind of blonde I go for" to "Darling, I think you just dropped this" (then she picks up a dollar bill she had just dropped onto the floor!). With Corinna, she didn't say anything. She just walked up and pinched her gently on the thigh. Corinna whirled her seat around and was about to slap this brazen young thing until she saw those violet eyes.

But here is the most unmistakable part of her M.O.: she writes a song for the girl she is wooing. Then she sings it to the blonde du jour from below du jour's bedroom window. What is a blonde to think then, after such a charming and gorgeous brunette writes a song just for her; of course, a blonde's to think of four things: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. But alas, this brunette is always gone the next day, and without leaving a note or a card or anything but a single red rose below the blonde's window.

 Thirteen of us victims have found one another and we've discovered that the Brunette Minstrel strikes once for each letter in the alphabet. You've heard of Miss Agatha Christie's Alphabet Murders? Well, here is the Alphabet Lover. Please, Policepettes, catch her before other blondes must suffer as we have.

--End of Official Report--

 We thirteen blondes have decided to go public with our private heartbreaks just in case we can help other blondes avoid our star-crossed fate. You will notice that Miranda and Charmaine are quite safe, since our Brunette has already broken Marie Elaina's and Corinna's hearts (plus those two pettes are already too starry eyed over other brunettes to notice this one), but we are especially concerned for Ariadne, for no pette with an A name has been wooed as of yet. Ariadne, please be careful out there at the YBCA in Kadorian Hollywood. We are worried about you.

TOP SECRET

 Blonde Hearts Broken By Brunette X

B... Barbara Anne (Oh, Barbara Anne, Please take my hand)

 C... Corinna (Corinne, Corinna, I love you so)

 D... Dolores (How I love the kisses of Dolores)

 G... Glendora (I'm in love with a dolly named Glendora)

 I... Irene (Goodnight, Irene, goodnight. I'll see you in my dreams)

 J... Judy (Now it's Judy's turn to cry)

 K... Kathy (Kathy's Clown)

 L... Laura (Tell Laura I love her)

 M... Marie Elaina (Marie Elaina, Can't you see I care?)

 N... Nadine (Nadine, Honey, is that you?)

 P ... Paula (Hey, Hey, Paula, I wanna marry you)

 R... Ruby (I love a girl and a Ruby is her name)

 S ... Susie (Wake up, Little Susie)

 T... Tina Marie (If I didn't know lips could kiss, if I didn't know eyes could flirt, if I didn't know girls could be like Tina Marie)

 Love, Dolores and the other dozen broken-hearted blondes.


Notes to the Pettes

Thank you, charming Anita, for showing us the pictures of those wonderful gowns. How I wish that I had the unlimited talents of the studio seamstresses at my beck and call! The only problem then would be to decide which of the garments I should possess. I would solve this problem quite easily with a sudden stroke of inspiration--I would own them all!

 Elizabeth O said some time ago that she was wearing her armour of lipstick and nail polish when she went fleeming. I do think that to make up one's face is like putting armour on. It is like putting a buffer between oneself and the Pit. Miss Barbara said that she felt that wearing real clothes was like wearing an Aristasian uniform, and a uniform is like armour as well, in this context, isn't it?

 Thank you for the kind offer of some of your lovely lavender, Elizabeth Ruth. Alas, I am an Old World girl, on the other side of the great watery divide, so it might be a trifle difficult.

 CANDIDA


The Wearing of the Green

Hello all you pettes in green!

 Happy St. Patricia's Day. Did you know that in Trentish Gotham, we paint a green line down the middle of the street and hold the grandest parade each March 17th ? Well, we do, and you pettes should pop on over, if you get the chance, and watch the marching bands, baton twillers, green floats, and all of those green-clad admirers, standing on the sidewalks. I'll be there, in this pillbox with greenery pasted all over. Do you like it? I heard that folks with Irish blood in them wear green today because they are honoring their ancestors, who would burn boughs and branches in the spring, and then pour the ashes over their fields, hoping for a rich crop to grow. Most pettes have forgotten this part, I suppose, but I think green looks especially nice on brunettes, regardless of the day, don't you? It's such a confident color, so authoritative, but in a soft, feminine way. And put green on a pette with green eyes, and you've got a touch of the shamrock magic right before you!

 Love,

 SHIRLEY


Music Playing: Miss Marychild's Dance Orchestra with Look for the Silver Lining


Dateline: Sunday, March 16, 1952

Uniforms and Archetypes

Oh, yes, I do agree with Miss Barbara about the power of uniforms, how they project the archetype first, then we notice the girl underneath. In general. But sometimes the uniform is the accent, and the girl the principal archetype: here are three blondes attending a Kadorie armed forces benefit dance only last week, wearing pins given to them by their brunettes. The blondies have made fanciful hats for themselves - a red beret for the Army, a blue broad-brimmed chapeau for the Navy and a stunning pair of avatrix goggles in silver lame [accent, please?] for the Air Corps.

 MEHITABELLE


Uniforms and Cinderella

Good day and salut, Madames et Mademoiselles,

 Thank you very much, regal Miss Barbara, for the lovely spring drink. Actually, I don't know whether it's just for springtime or not, but I've certainly never had it, and it does look marvelous.

 I can hardly agree more with what you've just said about uniforms etc., and with all that the Wise Sagette remarked in reply. Musing upon those comments on uniforms, I was reminded of how unfortunate I've always thought it was that girls in Pit-america seem to have but very little chance of attending a school with the charming benefit of mandatory uniforms. School uniforms are my only experience of requirements pertaining to dress, and I've always found such obligatory costume rather freeing. Without wishing to be presumptuous or pretentious, I do think that what uniforms (or school ones at least) accentuate (literally) above all else, is the primary, unassailable centrality of a girl's face in the whole, great cosmology of one's physical environment. For of all the features that coalesce to form the tangible exteriority of Maid, is it not the visage that encompasses the greatest complexity of beauty and diversity? And so it could be said: how better to emphasise this than through the service of identical costume? Thus, the faces of a multitude of real girls in uniform could perhaps appear, to the more ethereally minded pette, like a galaxy of shimmering stars against the dark, deep background of night.

 But here I shall stop blathering metaphysically on and pronounce my modest defence for occupying a place at the Bar today, in spite of the shameless brunette mob clamouring to get within pinching distance of our most sly, agile barmaid. So...

 Nowadays I seem to have a real tune playing itself to me internally most all the time. At first I was a little surprised to find that I often love the silliest, most fanciful and "disposable" songs as much as the more expansive, classicly melancholy ones that best befit my temperament. I think there is a particularly winsome quality of ingenuous immediacy to those littlest, lightest, most en passant numbers - perhaps meant to be more sentimental than 'serious', more 'of moment' than momentous. (But then it is true that those words could describe most up-to-date music, I suppose.) Anyway, they are usually fast and jinky, but here is a slow, (Kadorie, I think) dreamy little song - one of my favourites of the sentimental/fanciful type. It's called "Cinderella Stay in My Arms" and I should like to dedicate it especially to Miss Barbara, for haven't we all seen her recently practising her dance steps before the Cocktail Bar mirror, undoubtably dreaming of her own perfect blonde Cinderella? So accompanied by a wistful, swoony tune, it goes like this:

 A few minutes to midnight, at the ball
All the crowd was swaying
Two charming people went dancing by
And I heard one saying:

 "Stay in my arms, Cinderella
While the clock is striking, I'll hold you
At the stroke of twelve, don't run away
Oh can't you hear my heart
It begs you to

 Stay in my arms, Cinderella
Maybe I'm that pette Princess Charming
Since I've met you, I've had one design,
Your wedding shoes, placed next to mine

 Midnight of midnights - oh so divine!
Cinderella stay in my arms..."

 Isn't that sweet? I'm especially smitten by the glorious "wedding shoes" line... Goodnight sweet pettes, MISS MINA KUMARI


Oh yes! We love that song too. Have you heard the tremblingly emotional rendition of Miss Vera Lynne? That is our favourite of all. And it is the healthiest thing in the world to have a racinated song playing within one. The perfect antidote to the poison of the Pit.

The Magic Of Sequins

Sequins, pettes! Our text for today is glorious, glittering sequins! Those flat, little mirrored discs that become their own sources of light, riveting attention on any girl lucky enough to afford anything covered with them.

 But before I get too carried away, let me say a few words about a more general topic, color. Most of the Trentish gowns I have shown you so far have been black or white, but the ones I am about to show you are in rich colors, though the photographs are still black and white. Why, you may ask, do Hollywood costume designers pay any attention at all to color, when just about every film made in Trent, except in the far western part of the province, is in black and white? Why are not film costumes merely made in some shade of grey? They would look just the same on the screen and be a lot less expensive to make. Well, the answer is quite simple. In black and white films, colors are used in costumes just as colors are used on the stage, or in every day life, for that matter: they indicate mood, emotion, temperament, character - all the things colors normally affect or reflect. If the actresses were clad all in black, white or some shade of grey, they would be unable to project the right feelings for their parts, their acting would be as drab as the clothing they wear. Hence, color is all-important, like proper undergarments, even though it all comes out looking grey on black and white film.

Here is Miss Ginger Rogers wearing a blouse of glittering green sequins, with lightly flounced collar, set off by a plain dark-green floor length woolen skirt. The belt is of matching green wool. Imagine the complete effect, with Miss Roger's pale yellow hair and the pastel tones of the snapdragons in the bowl on the gleaming mahogany sideboard. See how comfortably, how casually, how confidently Miss Roger's eyes engage the camera.

Next, allow me to present the stunning Trentish brunette Miss Dolores Del Rio, clad in a clinging gold satin gown (bias cut, of course!) covered with gold sequins and worn with a pleated art-neo cape, also in gold satin. Note the cape's high cowl neckline and cut-out cap sleeves with enormous mink cuffs, which taper rapidly, drawing the eye to Miss Del Rio's exquisite hands. You can see, pettes, why a woman needs a perfect figure to carry off a gown like this! Here again is the ultra-feminine, S-shaped stance of Trent, here again the calm, confident gaze that transfixes. This woman is not looking at nothing, she is looking at you. Quelle quintessential brunette! (Also note how it is rather unlikely that Miss Del Rio is wearing anything at all under her gown. This is one of the, um, drawbacks of bias-cut satin gowns - even when not so tight as this one - they inexorably reveal even the most cunningly created garter-tab or the most delicate line of slip, brassiere or step-ins. But Miss Del Rio's ensemble meets the censors' requirements!)

Sequins need not be flashy, however. They can be blended with a soft, feminine fashion as an accent, not stand alone as the main course, so to speak. Here is the Trentish prima ballerina Vera Zorina wearing a classically simple evening gown in black tulle. The gown has a tightly shirred bodice and an enormous skirt hemmed with a broad band of scroll-worked sequins in spectral reds, greens, yellows and blues. The dazzle of the sequins has quite properly induced the lovely Miss Zorina to forego any jewelry save a red coral bead bracelet on one wrist and a plain silver band on the other. It doesn't quite show in this small reproduction, but in her left hand Miss Zorina is holding a full-length black sable coat, almost negligently draped onto the floor.

 ANITA, PARAMOUNT STUDIOS ARCHIVIST


ADD YOUR COMMENT TO THE CONVERSATION
Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.

And here are LOTS of delightful girly places to go


NEXT ARCHIVE
PREVIOUS ARCHIVE

BACK TO BELLADONNA